One of the criticisms leveled at America’s two-party structure is that it provides automatic or near-majorities by allowing one candidate to gain more than half of the overall votes cast (Kanthak & Krause, 2012). If the country has more than two parties, the overall votes would be split among several candidates, making it difficult for one party to get more than 50% of the votes. Furthermore, since America is a vast and diverse society, having too many parties would make government difficult if there were too many candidates, none of whom obtained a sufficient amount of votes. One of the arguments supporting America’s multi-party process is that it supports political process through raising important and new issues which have been ignored by the current system. More than two parties can address some issues which the current two party systems have found difficult in addressing.
Third parties play significant role in American national politics because they usually organize and mobilize around a single issue or position, which end up putting pressure on candidates from the major parties to address the issue (Kanthak & Krause, 2012. They have also had great influence on U.S policies and political debate irrespective of their minor presence in congress.
Voters can support a third party even if it has no chance of winning because it is advisable to support a candidate based on his/her leadership qualities and not the kind or the popularity of his/her political party (Kanthak & Krause, 2012. If the third party candidate is good enough to lead the country even if he has no chances of winning, then voters should support that party. Voting for third party candidates puts pressure to the main candidates to do what is correct and also use proper ways of campaigning
I would favor adopting electoral system with multimember districts and proportional representation to give third parties greater role in government because it will assist those who are locked out to have a chance to vie for different positions. It will also make the country to have good leadership because voters more choice among candidates and issues, addressing a persistent voter complaint.
One of the major similarities between the two is that the aim of each one of them is to make the government do certain things through protecting and promoting law adherence (Kenneth, 2013). They both strive to ensure political policies are shaped and followed by the government. Both political parties and interest groups influence legislators of each state to come up with laws and change their direction. They also influence the voting public or the general public to be able to influence their politicians through making them to vote in one way or the other, or create set of laws over another.
An interest group is different from political parties because they do not run their own candidates for office, and they mostly look for specific goal policies than parties. Political parties exist to obtain power over governmental policy through winning elections (Kenneth, 2013). They have official opinions on different issues, which are subject to change. The goal of interest group is to promote a position in a particular issue such as gun control, agriculture among others. Interest groups do not have their candidates run vie for an office.
The other difference between political parties and interest groups is that political parties try to incorporate many issues into their policies than interest groups (Kenneth, 2013). Interest groups try to have specific stand or policy position and gathers people with similar narrow interest on certain matter which they feel should be implemented. The other difference between the two is that political parties are more internally flexible as compared to interest groups. For example, political party members usually have similar views but fail to agree on all issues.
Kenneth. J. (2013). Do Party Systems Matter: Governance through Modern Political Parties. Harvard International Review, 34(4), 127-156.
Kanthak. K & Krause, G. A. (2012). The Diversity Paradox: Political Parties, Legislatures, and the Organizational Foundations of Representation in America. New York: Oxford University Press,